SoftBank Ventures Asia, the early-stage funding arm of SoftBank, is reportedly in talks to invest in logistics management software provider LogiNext Solutions.
Till date Japanese conglomerate, SoftBank, has invested more than $10 Bn in the Indian startup ecosystem. However, the bets have continued to be in the late stage or growth stage companies.
SoftBank had launched the SoftBank Ventures Asia in 2000. Based in Korea, it scouts for startups with a strong potential in Asia, the US, Israel, and the EU, focussing on AI, IoT and the smart robotics industry.
The firm has launched SoftBank Acceleration Fund to bet in early-stage startups. This is in contrast to SoftBank’s Vision Fund, which has been writing large checks to growth-stage or even late-stage ventures.
The development comes a few days after reports surfaced that $500 Mn SoftBank Acceleration Fund is now scouting for startups in Asia with a major focus on the Indian ecosystem. It was reported that SoftBank Ventures Asia may invest $10 Mn – $20 Mn in the consumer internet space, with a special focus on startups in healthcare, fintech and artificial intelligence segment.
LogiNext: Backed By Paytm, Growing 100% Y-o-Y
Founded in 2014 by Dhruvil Sanghvi and Manisha Raisinghani, LogiNext is a SaaS company which leverages machine learning and cloud technology. It provides solutions to manage and optimise logistics and field service operations. The company has raised $10.5 Mn from Paytm and Indian Angel Network in 2015.
Headquartered in California, with offices in India, Singapore, UAE, and Indonesia, LogiNext claims to cater to over 200 clients. LogiNext caters to the ecommerce, retail, consumer goods, express transportation, utilities, food and beverage, and other logistics-intensive industries.
The organisation follows a SaaS-based pricing model for its software or resource-based pricing, typically selling one license per resource. A resource could be a delivery associate, truck or any vehicle used for delivery.
The company claims to have been growing at 100% Y-o-Y. It further claims to help save its clients an average of 20% of their logistics cost per quarter. Further, LogiNext had acquired Mumbai-based cross-category, last mile delivery service startup,YourGuy.
To strengthen its network abilities, LogiNext has more than a billion active location and tracking data points across the world. These points are consistently leveraged to better predict optimised routes and schedule plans for its clients using machine learning enabled algorithms.
Talking to Inc42 earlier, Sanghvi said that the company’s target market consists mainly of express logistics companies, last-mile delivery companies, retail distribution companies, and manufacturing companies.
Why Is Logistics Attractive In The Indian Market?
In simple terms, Indian logistics market is on a high with the booming ecommerce market and offline-to-online movement of retail market as well. The sector continues to envy with tech innovations such as logistics-related software solutions, last-mile delivery, robotics, automation solutions.
This continuous investor attention and consumer need has given rise to multiple unicorns in the logistics industry itself. SoftBank itself has backed logistics unicorn Delhivery, which competes with other major players such as unicorn startup BlackBuck and more.
Indian logistics sector is currently valued at $160 Bn and is poised to hit $215 Bn by 2020. The sector makes more sense for investors such as SoftBank Ventures Asia because of the big potential it gives to the sector or startup it invests in.
[The development was reported by Hindu BusinessLine.]